Our Family

Our Family

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Softest Peanut Butter M & M Cookies Ever!



Peanut Butter and chocolate is my favorite combination.  I love to bake and am always looking for new recipes to try out.  I saw a recipe for these cookies and decided to make them for dessert one night.  They were so good I could've eaten the eaten batch!  These cookies are super soft and chewy and taste yummy!  These would make a great dessert for a Christmas party if you used the red and green M & M's.

Ingredients

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 3/4 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 bag of M & M's


Cream the sugars, peanut butter, and butter together.  Next add in the eggs, vanilla, and the salt.  Most recipes will tell you to mix the flour, baking soda, and cornstarch in a separate bowl and then add it in to your wet mixture, but honestly I use my Kitchenaid mixer and add the dry ingredients straight into the bowl and mix until combined.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups M & M's gently by hand.

Chill the dough for 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 350. Scoop the dough out and roll it into balls placing them 3 inches apart on your baking sheets.  I use my Pampered Chef stoneware because it gives me the best baking results.  Bake 10-12 minutes until the cookies are light golden brown.  Do not over bake or they will not be soft. Once the cookies are out of the oven you can press a few M & M's into the tops.  Cool and enjoy!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Our Week in Review (November 21st-27th)

I did not take very many pictures this week.

We took the whole week off of school.  We were ready for a break.

  I had to run errands one day and Emmie wanted to go with me. I also spent some time cleaning out some closets.  Another day I had to take Chelsea to an appointment and the men worked on processing deer meat while we were gone.

The girls wanted to make some dolls so I worked on those with them.  They turned out pretty cute.  We made two for each of them.





Wednesday I spent most of the day making pies for Thanksgiving.  Lily was my kitchen helper.


Thursday was of course Thanksgiving.  We eat our big meal around 12:30 and then eat leftovers for supper.  The morning was spent cooking.  After we ate we did not do much of anything besides watching football and Christmas movie.

Friday afternoon I had to go to Walmart to go grocery shopping.  Nick went with me while the others helped Art do some yard work.  We also started decorating outside.


Saturday we started decorating inside.

Sunday after church we headed to the Christmas Tree Farm to pick out the perfect tree.  The children also had a hay ride and some hot cocoa.







We decorated the tree when we got home.









It's back to school tomorrow!

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Review: The Angel of Forest Hill by Cindy Woodsmall




Old Order Amish Rose Kurtz is asked to leave her family and travel to West Virginia to help Joel Dienner with his children.  When tragedy strikes, she is asked to stay and become Joel's wife for the sake of his family's needs.  Rose hopes to find kindness instead of criticism but knows that the marriage is out of necessity not love.  As the years go by, Joel and Rose find a friendship and she helps to bring him out of his sadness and back into enjoying life again.  Joel tries to help Rose move through the painful hurts in her life and hopes that the upcoming Christmas season will become their season, but a series of misunderstandings threatens to reverse how far they have come together.

The Angel of Forest Hill is 208 pages and can be purchased as a hardcover book for $14.99 or as an ebook for $9.99.  Find more information here.

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of numerous works of fiction and one of nonfiction. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media. She lives in the Foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her family.

Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite authors and I look forward to reading her books.  The Angel of Forest Hill is a novella and a quick and easy read that I finished in one rainy Saturday afternoon.  Because it is a novella the characters are not as developed as they would be in a full length novel. The book jumps forward in time but the author does a good job filling the reader in on the information that we missed out on.  It is a beautiful story of love and hope and healing.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to the FTC regulations. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Homeschool Review Crew Favorites for 2016

Meet the Homeschool Review Crew Curriculum Favourites for 2016

Each year in November, the Review Crew year ends and we have an opportunity to vote on our favorite products for the year.  The winners are awarded with a Blue Ribbon Award.  I completed 40 reviews this year out of the 75 total reviews The Crew completed. Since I joined the Crew in 2010 I have completed over 300 reviews for the Homeschool Review Crew!  You can find all of my reviews under my TOS Product Review tag in my sidebar.  I have been incredibly blessed to be a part of the Homeschool Review Crew and look forward to next year. 

Some of the categories had several products we liked and were hard to choose.  There were a few categories I did not vote in because we did not review products in those categories.  I was happy to see some of our favorites were Blue Ribbon Award winners. 

Our choices for 2016

Favorite Reading - Jolly Phonics and Grammar
Favorite Writing- Writers in Residence
Favorite Spelling- Talking Fingers
Favorite Vocabulary

Favorite Grammar- The Critical Thinking Co.
Favorite Penmanship-
Favorite Literature Curriculum- IEW Poetry
Favorite Literature Resource - Heirloom Audio

Favorite History Curriculum
Favorite History Supplement- NotebookingPages.com
Favorite Science Curriculum- Apologia Astronomy
Favorite Science Supplement- Memoria Press
Favorite Math Curriculum- Demme Learning
Favorite Math Supplement- Trigger Memory Company

Favorite Foreign Language Curriculum- Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids
Favorite Fine Arts Curriculum-ZeeZok Publishing (Music Appreciation)
Favorite Elective-StopMotion Explosion
Favorite Christian Education Curriculum- Veritas Press
Favorite Christian Education Product- Zondervan

Favorite Preschool Product
Favorite Elementary Product- ArtAchieve
Favorite Middle School Product-Middlebury Interactive Languages
Favorite High School Product- The 101 Series
Favorite College Prep

Favorite Parent Product- FreezEasy
Best Resource I Didn't Know I Needed- NotebookingPages.com
Best Online Resource- Veritas Press
Best E-Product -Grapevine Studies
Favorite Novel, Book, Audio Drama- Heirloom Audio
Just For Fun- FlipStir

Kid's Choice- (0-12) Anthony and Christian voted for StopMotion Explosion, Alex for Middlebury Interactive, Lily for ArtAchieve, and Emmie for Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids
Teen's Choice (13 and up)- Nick voted for StopMotion Explosion
All Around Favorite- (my favorite) NotebookingPages.com


Blue Ribbon Award Winners Were:

Favorite Reading Curriculum – Logic of English
Favorite Writing Curriculum – Here to Help Learning
Favorite Vocabulary Program – The Critical Thinking Co.
Favorite Spelling Program – Talking Fingers: Read, Write and Type

Favorite Grammar Program – The Critical Thinking Co.
Favorite Penmanship Program – Homeschool Copywork
Favorite Literature Curriculum – Institute for Excellence in Writing: Poetry
Favorite Literature Resource – Heirloom Audio

Favorite History Curriculum – Home School in the Woods
Favorite History Supplement – Carole P. Roman
Favorite Science Curriculum – Apologia: Astronomy
Favorite Science Supplement – NotebookingPages.com
Favorite Math Curriculum – CTC Math
Favorite Math Supplement – Trigger Memory System

Favorite Foreign Language Curriculum – Middlebury Interactive Languages
Favorite Fine Arts Product/Curriculum – ArtAchieve
Favorite Elective Curriculum – Stop Motion Explosion
Favorite Christian Education Curriculum – Veritas Press
Favorite Christian Education Product – Chara Games

Favorite Preschool Product – The Pencil Grip
Favorite Elementary Product – Veritas Press
Favorite Middle School Product – Apologia: Writers in Residence
Favorite High School Product – 101 Series
Favorite College or College-Prep Product – Everyday Education

Favorite Parent Product – MyFreezEasy
Best Resource I Didn’t Know I Needed – ForBrain
Best Online Resource – Veritas Press
Best E-Product – Grapevine Studies
Favorite Book, Novel, Audio Book, or Audio Drama – Heirloom Audio
Just for Fun! – FlipStir

Kids’ Choice (Ages 0-12) – KidsEmail.org
Teens’ Choice – 101 Series
All Around Crew Favorite – CrossTimber

Congratulations to all of the Winners!

Members of The Crew have shared their favorites.  Stop by The Crew Blog and see what they thought.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 12

This week we had several things going on and a few of them were doing the school day, so it was a light week for school work.  We are taking next week off for Thanksgiving break.  We are all ready for a break!

Week 12 in our Homeschool

P.E.: We did one day of Family Time Fitness and one day of bike riding.

Bible: We read about Romania in Windows on the World.  Our memory verse is Matthew 5:44.  Our Bible reading was Matthew 8:5-27.

Read Aloud: Our morning read aloud this week was back in Kingdom Tales.  We read 5 short stories.  We did not start a new afternoon read aloud because the books I ordered from Amazon arrived two days late. For our evening read aloud we are reading The Borrower's Afield.

E.C.C: We have started studying Europe focusing the next two weeks on Norway.  We read some pages on Europe in Children's Atlas of God's World and two pages about Norway.  We completed a John 3:16 page on Norway and labeled the countries of Europe on the map.  We reviewed the countries each day.  For the science portion we read about Northern Evergreen Forests and Winter in Northern Forests in Living World Encyclopedia.

Language Arts: Anthony and Christian copied the poem Try, Try Again.  Lily's assignment was on initial consonant blends.  Nick is working on sentence diagramming.

Spelling/Reading: Lily completed Lesson 1 of AAR Level 3.  Anthony and Christian completed Step 13 in AAS and lesson 33 in AAR Level 4.

Math: Nick completed lesson 11 MUS Geometry.  Alex completed 3 lessons in Teaching Textbooks 7.  Anthony, Lily, and Christian completed 3 lessons in Math Lessons for a Living Education.

MFW Creation from A to Z: Emmie finished the lesson on "o" for "octopus."  When Lily did this lesson two years ago I made both girls a really cute no sew octopus so they pulled those out to play with.  She did her math page, blend ladder page, and made her octopus badge.  We made an octopus out of our hands, colored a world map, and did a sea creature page.  We watched Finding Dory for our Friday night movie and watched the Wild Kratts episode about an octopus.

Emmie decided I wasn't teaching her to read fast enough so she gathered Levels 1 and 2 readers from AAR and took them to Lily so Lily could teach her to read!


God's Design in Nature and All American History: Nick is reading through his biography and historical fiction and completed lessons 46-48 in Science.

Other Activities this Week:

Monday Christian had a soccer practice.

Tuesday Chelsea needed a ride to an appointment in Hot Springs.  I loaded all of the children up and we headed to the museum after.  They changed their exhibit since the last time we were there and there was lots of cool new stuff to explore plus our old favorites.

















We were home for an hour and had to head out to gymnastics.


Then we ate sandwiches at the park waiting for Christian's last soccer game to start.  They played hard but lost.  I am glad the season is finally over.  They enjoy playing and I love to watch them but it will be nice to have some evenings at home again!



Wednesday we had Kid's Club.  This was our last Kid's Club for the fall semester.  We will not meet again until January.


After Kid's Club Christian, Lily, and Anthony did some training to be acolytes during the church service.



Thursday we met with some homeschool friends so we could take some food and other items to a homeschool family who just lost their husband/father to cancer.  Afterwards we went ahead and did our grocery shopping because I did not want to go Friday afternoon.




Friday was our STEM 4 H meeting.  At our August meeting we were given a challenge to build a bridge using only 100 popsicle sticks and Elmer's Glue.  You were not allowed to cut or notch your sticks.  We were trying to see how much weight the bridges would hold.  All 4 boys made a bridge. Nick did his at the last minute and his glue was not dry so he did not participate in the glue challenge. Even though Lily is technically too young for the club she made one too just for fun all by herself. She did a great job!

All of the bridges held 14 pounds.  Most of the children did not want their bridges to break so they did not try to add any more weight.  Alex and one other boy decided to add more weight.  We tried different amounts first adding a 20 pound toolbox and putting the 13 pounds of rocks on top of it. Then we used 30 pound cinder blocks.  He had 2 blocks underneath the bridge and it still didn't break so they added a block on top of the bridge and it finally broke.








This girl came over Friday night for pizza and a movie.  So nice to have all the children home!



Sunday Alex turned 13!  He had a great start to his birthday when we got up before church and got a deer!  After church we had his birthday lunch and I made the cheesecake he requested.   I can't believe he's 13!

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!